Designing the bid book for World Design Capital 2014

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Design Capital 2014 | No Comments

Christo Maritz, founder of Infestation who designed the bid book, told me about their process…

He says it was not as glamorous as it seems, now we look back…
At the time Christo said “I can’t believe we have to do the bid book, its an incredible opportunity, where do we start?”
“We had two weeks come up with idea and then we had four weeks start to end, 480 pp. We would never have taken it on if we knew how big it was. And we sat around the table and said what do we do, then we said, “Let’s just go in our normal mode… what is the problem, what is the message, how do we solve it, how do we communicate it, what are the things we want to communicate? It’s gonna be a bunch of people sitting around a table in Quebec and they’re going to look at this book and what must they feel, what must they think, what must it say, what musn’t it say?”

“Slowly but surely prioritising your problems, it must be a happy book, it’s got to show before and after, it’s got to have interaction, show that the design of it and the actual layout of it is well done. It’s based on reading principles, how much information can you engage with on a page? It was very difficult, we looked at the previous bid books that other countries did – they were all very text heavy. So we made the book thicker but much more engaging, much more readable, and that helped.”

“We had the look and feel signed off and the pages just kept coming and coming and coming. We had four designers working on it day and night, there was no time to art direct pages, or let’s put them up… everybody in my team was very focused, they did a great job!”

“Cape Town Partnership wrote the material. A lot written by Carola Koblitz and Zaid Minty and Lorelle Belle at the beginning, and some by an intern. It was written while we were designing it, so they would sit in the boardroom, Carola sat right here, and emailed the files to our designers, and proofed it the next morning. The only thing that that caused was that we actually created this book without it having to be academic, which was a good thing because nobody would have agreed if we said “Everybody out there, who do you think should be in the book, which projects should we include? Which venues should we include?”  Undemocratic, very efficient.”